Maledictus Terra Book 2: Sanguifex Part 4

Greetings all!
I hope you have all had a great day and are looking forward to the weekend! I don't have too much to say about my week as I'm behind in a project due to a client being a bit of a dick.

Anyway, please enjoy the next installment of Sanguifex!
Within the case, on top of blood-red velvet, were a pair of silver gauntlets. Unlike the armour of this country, these gauntlets didn’t end rounded, but rather wickedly curved and sharp. This had been a gift from her mother before leaving, a wedding gift of sorts. Mary had known her mother would never attend her wedding when she received these.

Only those Clarprati knew how to fight with these weapons, as they had been forced to learn. Lifedrinkers had always fought in close combat, so close that even a short sword was useless. It was with these gauntlets that the Clarpratians had learnt to combat the scourge.

Mary sat on the bed and removed the gauntlets. She hadn’t seen them in years as they unnerved Johnathan greatly. He had had to face her wearing a similar set, and he knew just how dangerous Mary was with them. Despite this, before the children had been born, Mary had continued to train with them.

Once the twins came into her life, she realised she was finally safe from the horrors she had endured in her old kingdom. The twins were barely weaned when she had packed these weapons away in favour of a short blade. She thought she’d never have to lay her eyes on these weapons again.

She slipped her hands into the weapons and felt the strange tingling as the magic within them activated. A mixture of silver and holy magic was what created these weapons, and it would protect her family now that the creatures that had driven her from her home were practically on their doorstep.
Magna watched the soldiers and those that walked before them, slowly snake their way toward the castle. She watched them with disinterest. It was the lone horseman in red armour approaching the castle that had caught her attention. He infuriated her.

Ever since the Burning One had touched her soul, Magna had had a burning anger within the pit in her belly. She tried to contain it by separating herself from those who dwelled in the castle and spending more time with Derric and Millmor, but the anger never went away. It called to her to enter combat and spill blood. Her fingers were always touching the pommel of the blade she wore at her side.

“You should speak to Adiran.” Said Adrian at her side.

She looked at her younger twin and smiled. The events of the last few months had been as hard on him as they had been on her. Gone was the nervous teen who had refused to spar with his father and sister. Beside her stood a young man who carried a similar blade to hers. He alone was the only one to take her rage in training as he was left with his own soul scars from his time with the other tainted god. His skills had vastly grown, and Magna felt a spark of pride in how far he had come and how far he was willing to go to save his twin from the hell she was experiencing.

“What exactly can he do for me?”

“A sleep potion would do you a world of good.”

“I sleep enough.”

“Four hours a night isn’t enough.”

Magna sighed and continued to watch the horseman stop just short of the castle’s walls. The man wore no helm, and Magna could just make out the circlet that rested on his brow of dark hair.

“Why does Mother want us up here?” she demanded as she watched Mary and Mortis walk out to speak to the horseman.

“To protect us.” Adrian grasped her shoulder.

“Haven’t we done enough to prove we can look after ourselves?” she spat in annoyance.

“She feels guilty for what we went through. Let her be a mother to us a little longer before you get the throne.” Adrian then grinned. “Adiran taught me a nifty spell to listen in on conversations. Want to hear what our uncle has to say?”

Magna grinned broadly and said, “You know me too well!”
Mortis didn’t know what to expect as he escorted the Queen to meet her brother. She had been adamant that only he goes with her. While she had allowed him to be armed, she had begged him to keep his blade sheathed until it was needed. He had reluctantly agreed.

As they approached the King of Clarprati, the large man dismounted and took a few steps forward. He looked as if he wanted to say something, but then he took notice of the weapons that Mary wore. His unreadable face suddenly took on a look of displeasure, but he said nothing. Mortis himself was unfamiliar with these weapons, but just by looking at them, he knew that anyone who came within their grasp would be severely injured.

“Sebastian.” Greeted Mary.

“Maria.” The voice that came from the man was grave and dry.

Before Mortis could question the name, Mary waved it off and said, “You know that is not what I am called here.”

Sebastian sighed and said dryly, “No, Father made you change your name when you married that brute.”

A look of pain crossed Mary’s face, and Mortis was debating whether to come to her defence, but Sebastian surprised him by continuing.

“I heard that the brute died. Murdered, and your son was seriously injured. It took some time to convince the other lords to send you aid, but by the time we were on the road I heard a rumour of goliaths fighting.”

Sebastian turned to Mortis and grinned wide enough for the revenant to note the incisors that marked him as a Lifedrinker.

“And I believe this revenant was one of those goliaths. I’m glad that I will not have to fight him in the form the tales tell of him.”

Mortis would have been shocked at the King knowing what he was, but he reminded himself that the man was a Lifedrinker, and therefore could sense when something had life in it or not.

Mary stepped forward to ask something of her brother when he surprised her by stepping forward and wrapping his arms around her. She instinctually reacted by bringing her gauntlets up. Despite the pain from the gauntlets digging through his armour and into his chest and abdomen, he didn’t let go of her, yet he didn’t harm her.

“Maria, my heart bleeds still, and it bleeds for you. I see the passing of the brute has affected you deeply. Know that when I started this quest it was to support you, but now I must beg for your help. Please, hear me out.”
And the story is passed to @zakludick
Here is an explanation of Chain Stories and here is the current Chainstory Library

Mortis Custos



by @zakludickby @lex-zaiya
Part 1Part 2
Part 3Part 4 - You are Here
Part 5 – Coming Soon

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